The New York Knicks and their fans are hungry to be relevant again. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has them back in the playoffs for the second time in three years, but the franchise has reached the postseason just six times since 2001. There have been plenty of down years and zero lottery luck to show for it.
22 Hall of Famers have played for the Knicks, and they have had 98 All-Stars in their 77 seasons as a franchise. New York is no stranger to marquee talent, and they have two championships under their belt. It has not always been this bad for the Knicks, and hopefully, this is just the beginning of another successful run.
Who are the best players that failed to reach the playoffs with the Knicks? Here is a look at their all-time starting five.
Knicks’ all-time starting 5: Players who never reached playoffs in New York
PG: Nate Robinson
Robinson was the 21st overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Suns, but he was traded to New York on draft night. The 5’9 point guard instantly cracked the rotation and became a spark off the bench for the Knicks. Robinson blocked Yao Ming during his rookie season and instantly became a fan favorite.
He played four and a half seasons in New York where he averaged 12.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 0.9 steals in 24.8 minutes per game. Robinson’s leaping ability was legendary, and it helped him win the Slam Dunk contest three times.
The undersized point guard was a joy to watch, but the Knicks struggled throughout his tenure in New York. They never won more than 33 games and did not sniff a postseason appearance. Robinson was traded to the Celtics in 2010 with Marcus Landry for J.R Giddens, Eddie House, and Henry Walker. Robinson played a diminished role off the bench as the Celtics reached the NBA Finals, and he was traded to Oklahoma City just one year later.
Nate Robinson was a must-watch, but the New York Knicks struggled during his tenure, and the point guard played significant playoff minutes just once in his 11 NBA seasons.